It looks like officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeing what they want to see and then trying to convince the rest of us to believe we see it too. That sort of thing can happen when you are under tremendous pressure to appease politicians, cattle ranchers and commercial hunters. The agency contends that gray wolves across the Lower 48 have recovered from near extermination. This was the logic behind their recent decision to de-list gray wolves from the endangered species list.* But a 245-page detailed report just released from scientists reviewing the U.S. government’s proposal to stop protecting gray wolves states that the government’s proposal has “numerous factual errors and other problems”.
The proposed rule had “demonstrable errors of fact, interpretation, and logic” and its description of where wolves presently range is fuzzy.
-Dr. Daniel MacNulty, Associate professor, Utah State University
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appeared to have come to a predetermined conclusion, not supported by its own science, that wolves should come off the endangered species list. -Review panel report
“It looks like they decided to de-list and then they compiled all the evidence that they thought supported that decision. It simply doesn’t support the decision.”
-Dr. Adrian Treves, Environmental studies professor, University of Wisconsin
After being nearly wiped out in the Lower 48 early last century, more than 6,000 gray wolves now live in portions of nine states. Yet gray wolves remain absent from most of their historical range. Critics of lifting protections say the move would be premature and worry that more hunting will reverse the species’ rebound.
*During the March 2019 North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would de-list the gray wolf in the contiguous United States.
Source: Associated Press